Friday Night Home Opener For Men's Basketball Versus Tennessee State

Nov. 11, 2015

Game Information
Opponent Tennessee State Tigers
Date Friday, November 13, 2015
Time 7:30 p.m.
Location Baltimore, Maryland | Reitz Arena
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Game Notes Loyola  Get Acrobat Reader | Tennessee State  Get Acrobat Reader

Quick Hits About The 'Hounds
  • Loyola University Maryland opens its third season of men's basketball competition in the Patriot League on Nov. 13, 2015, when it officially tips off the 2015-2016 season at 7:30 p.m. against Tennessee State University.
  • The Greyhounds return 11 letterwinners and add three newcomers to the mix.
  • G.G. Smith is in his third year at the helm of the Greyhounds' program after spending the 2007-2013 seasons as an assistant coach at the University.
  • The Greyhounds return 89.9 percent of their scoring from last season and 90 percent of their rebounds. Denzel Brito was the only senior on the team from a year ago and the only player not returning who saw significant action.
  • In addition to three players who averaged 10.2 or more points per game last year who are back for 2015-2016, Loyola welcomes back Jarred Jones. The forward was the team's top returning scorer and rebounder at the start of last season, but his season was cut short by an injury suffered in the year's second game.
  • Eric Laster is back after leading the team with 10.9 points per game in 2014-2015, a number that was just ahead of Tyler Hubbard's 10.8. Andre Walker (10.2 ppg, 1.7 spg) and Cam Gregory (6.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) return after earning Patriot League All-Rookie honors.
Patriot League Network    
  • For the third year in a row, the Patriot League Network will provide an outstanding viewing option for college basketball fans while showing more than 125 contests from Patriot League venues, including every Loyola home game.
  • Gary Lambrecht will call the play-by-play with Loyola alum Jim Chivers adding commentary.
  • Powered by Campus Insiders, the Network launched in 2013 and provides one of the most comprehensive digital packages of any conference nationally. Check for links to each game.
  • Fans can watch the digital broadcasts on desktop or laptop computers, any smart phone or tablet and through a variety of connected television devices.

Series History Versus Tennessee State    
  • Separated by just under 600 miles (599.59 as the crow flies), Loyola and Tennessee State will meet for the fourth time in the last nine years when they take the floor on Friday night.
  • All four games have been part of either the since-defunct Bracketbuster event or return games of those contests. Friday night's affair is the return contest of Loyola's 2013 Bracketbuster trip to Nashville.
  • The Greyhounds have won all three previous meeting with the Tigers, but the combined margin of victory in the trio is only seven points. Loyola has won by a basket in both games played in Nashville (69-67, Feb. 23, 2013; 62-60, Feb. 17, 2007) and by three in Reitz Arena (73-70, Nov. 16, 2008).
  • In the last meeting, Loyola trailed the Tigers by 11 with just over eight minutes to play, but a 13-0 run put the Greyhounds in front, and they held on for a 69-67 victory. Loyola limited Tennessee State to only four points in the game's last 10 minutes.
  • The Tigers held a 65-54 advantage with 8:16 left in regulation, but Tennessee State did not score for the next five minutes. Robert Olson tied the game at 65-65 with a jumper at 4:24, and a Dylon Cormier fast-break layup 33 ticks later gave the Greyhounds their first advantage since there was 18:25 left in the first half.
  • Patrick Miller tied the game for Tennessee State with 2:57 left, but his free throw was the last point the Tigers would score. Neither Loyola, nor Tennessee State, scored for more than two-minutes, 42-seconds, but Cormier was fouled with 11 seconds left, and his two free throws provided the final margin.
  • Etherly scored 26 points, and Cormier had 20 to lead Loyola, while Miller paced Tennessee State with 17.
  • Current Greyhounds Franz Rassman, Jarred Jones and Tyler Hubbard all played in the 2013 game. Rassman and Jones both scored four points, while Rassman and Hubbard had three and two rebounds, respectively.
  • The win was the Greyhounds' 20th of the 2012-2013 season, marking the first time in the school's Division I history that Loyola has won 20 or more in back-to-back seasons. It was also Tennessee State's second home loss in its last 22 games.

Back For More    
  • The Greyhounds return 89.9 percent of their scoring from last season and 90 percent of their rebounds. Denzel Brito was the only senior on the team from a year ago and the only player not returning who saw significant action.
  • Only Boston University, a team that returns 100 percent of both from 2014-2015, has more back in the fold for this campaign in the Patriot League.
  • Loyola returns 11 players from a year ago and adds three freshmen guards - James Fives, Sam Norton and Nevell Provo - to the mix.

Preseason Prognostications    
  • Loyola was slotted to finish seventh in a tightly-grouped Patriot League by a vote of conference head coaches and sports information personnel.
  • The Greyhounds received 73 votes in a tightly bunched poll that saw Lehigh University draw 12 first-place votes and top honors entering the 2015-2016 season. The Mountain Hawks were followed by Bucknell University, Boston University, the U.S. Military Academy, American University and defending Patriot League champion Lafayette College.
  • Loyola pulled in 23 more points than eighth-place College of the Holy Cross, and the final two spots were taken by Colgate University and the U.S. Naval Academy.

Exhibition Action    
  • Loyola opened the doors to Reitz Arena for the first time this season with an exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 5, against McGill University. The Greyhounds gave up the game's first two points but then scored the next 16 to take a commanding lead midway through the first half.
  • The Greyhounds pulled away for a 72-48 win over the Canadian side. Jarred Jones scored 15 points to lead Loyola, while Tyler Hubbard added 14.

Three With 10+ Points Return    
  • For the first time since the 2012-2013 season, Loyola returns three players who averaged 10 or more points per game a year ago. Eric Laster and Tyler Hubbard lead the way after averaging 10.9 and 10.8 points per game, respectively, while Andre Walker finished his freshman campaign with a 10.2 average.
  • Laster and Hubbard finished the season with only a 3-point differential between them in total points (327-324), while Walker totaled 306.

Jones-ing For The Court    
  • Another key player who is back in green and grey this year is post player Jarred Jones. Last year, Jones missed all but the first two games of the year after an injury in the season's second game.
  • Jones entered 2014-2015 as the team's top returning scorer and rebounder after averaging 8.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2013-2014. He then scored nine points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds in last year's season-opener at Texas Tech University.
  • Jones suffered a sprained knee against Cornell University two games later and then had season-ending wrist surgery in December.

Rookie Honors For Gregory & Walker    
  • Classmates Cam Gregory and Andre Walker were named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team last year, giving the Greyhounds two of the five players on the team as they joined Bucknell University's Nana Foulland, Boston University's Cheddi Mosley and Lehigh University's Kahron Ross.
  • Gregory was the top freshman rebounder, and third overall, in the Patriot League, averaging 7.0 rebounds per game. He led the Greyhounds in rebounding in 21 of 30 games this year and averaged 6.8 points per game.
  • Walker led Patriot League freshmen in scoring throughout the season, checking in with a 10.2 points per game mark. Walker also tied for second in the League in total steals (51) and averaged 4.1 rebounds per game, the third-best mark on the team.

Meet The New Guys    
  • Three freshman guards - James Fives, Sam Norton and Nevell Provo - join the Greyhounds roster and will make their Loyola debuts when they take the floor for the first time.
  • Fives averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior in 2014-2015 at The Hill School where he led the Rams to the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAISA) title. Prior to spending his final two seasons at Hill, Fives was a three-year starter at Scranton Preparatory Academy.
  • Norton was a teammate of Fives at The Hill School prior to walking on at Loyola. There, Norton averaged eight points, eight rebounds and two steals per game as a senior.
  • Provo comes the furthest of the Class of 2019 to play for Loyola. A native of North Preston, Nova Scotia, Provo played his final two years of high school basketball at Pine Ridge Secondary School in Pickering, Ontario. Provo led Pine Ridge Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSSA) Bronze Medal and played in the BioSteel All-Canadian Game. He was also a member of this the 2015 Canadian U-19 World Championships Team. The Canadians finished fifth in the tournament that was played in Greece.

Rebounding Improvement    
  • Loyola finished the 2013-2014 season with a minus-5.1 margin in rebounds per game versus its opponents, but the Greyhounds have made good strides in that number last year. After finishing last in the conference in rebound margin in 2013-2014, the Greyhounds led the League in that statistical category for much of the season and finished third at plus-1.2.
  • In 2013-2014, Loyola was 328th our of 345 ranked Division I teams with its -5.1 mark.
  • The Greyhounds' +6.3 improvement from last year was 16th-best turnaround in rebounding margin among NCAA Division I teams.

Believe In Second Chances    
  • Loyola led the Patriot League and was 110th nationally in offensive rebounds per game, averaging 11.5 per contest last year. As a result, the Greyhounds averaged 10.8 second-chance points per game. In victories, that number goes up to 12.4.

Perimeter Defense    
  • Along with improved rebounding numbers, one of G.G. Smith's keys coming into last season was defending the 3-pointer, and the Greyhounds did a good job of that throughout the year.
  • Combined, Loyola's opponents shot just 32.9 percent from 3-point range (166-of-504) this season. In 2013-2014, the Greyhounds' opponents shot 40.4 percent.
  • Loyola's 32.9 opponent 3-point percentage was tops in the Patriot League last year. In 2013-2014, the 40.4 percent was third-worst in Division I, 349th.

Freshman Contributions In 2014-15    
  • Loyola's four sophomores - Andre Walker, Cam Gregory, Chancellor Barnard and Matt Staubi - combined to make large contributions to the Greyhounds last season.
  • The group, with Walker, Gregory and Barnard drawing the most playing time, played 38.3 percent of available minutes last year for Loyola. They made 35.8 percent of Loyola's field goals, 47.3 percent of free throws and grabbed 42.8 percent of rebounds.
  • Additionally, they contributed 49.1 percent of steals and 45.5 percent of the team's blocked shots while scoring 36.6 percent of Loyola's points.
  • Andre Walker led the team in steals (51), was second in assists (68), and was the Patriot League's leading freshman scorer, averaging 10.4 points per game.
  • Cam Gregory topped the team with 7.0 rebounds per game (210 total), and his rebounds per game mark as third-best in the conference.

Paint Points, Bench Scoring Prove Key    
  • In its 11 wins last season, Loyola's bench  outscored opponents 20.6-11.5, while the Greyhounds  faced a disadvantage of over six points in losses, 19.9-13.2.
  • The Greyhounds averaged 29.3 paint points to their opponents' 27.3 in wins. In losses, however, the Greyhounds were outscored 32.3-22.9 inside.

Overtime Success Under Smith & Beyond    
  • Loyola was 4-0 last season in overtime with its Feb. 22 triple-overtime win over Colgate, and the Greyhounds are now 7-0 in the two seasons that G.G. Smith has been the team's head coach.
  • More impressively, Loyola is 16-1 in overtime games since the start of the 2004-2005 season.

Further Success In Close Games    
  • In addition to Loyola's success in overtime games, the Greyhounds were 8-3 last year in games decided by seven or fewer points. Since G.G. Smith became head coach, Loyola is 17-6 in those games.

New Addition To Reitz Arena    
  • Four bright additions were made to Reitz Arena, the Greyhounds home facility during the offseason with the installation of four Daktronics video display boards that total more than 600 square feet of viewing for fans at six-millimeter resolution.
  • Positioned at the four corners of Reitz Arena's court, two of the boards will serve as the facility's primary scoreboards, and the others will provide live video, replays and other entertainment and programming options during games.
  • The video boards, as well as LED courtside signage that was integrated in 2013-2014, was made possible by a $1 million gift by Jim Forbes '80 and his wife, Hollis. A control room that is outfitted with video board control and webstream equipment rounded out the technological enhancement.

Up Next    
  • The Greyhounds wrap up a modest two-game homestand to start the season on Monday, Nov. 16, when they host Long Island University-Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. in Reitz Arena.
  • Loyola then plays a pair of road contests, Wednesday, Nov. 18, at UMBC, and Saturday, Nov. 21, at Saint Bonaventure University.